Foursquare is part of the next generation of mobile applications. Described by the company that created it as “a friend-finder, a social city-guide, and a game that encourages users to explore their neighborhoods and rewards them for doing so,” Foursquare is an application that is designed to allow people to “check in,” or, in other words, indicate their whereabouts. People check in at a variety of different types of places, including their homes, parks, offices, restaurants, bars, cafés, and various businesses.
The idea is to allow friends to share their favorite spots in any new places that they may discover. In this way, Foursquare is very much so an application that is tantamount to viral marketing and it can be used to occur age word-of-mouth participation by your customers; here’s how:
Customer Loyalty: first, consider using Foursquare to offer customer loyalty promotions, such as offering a complimentary appetizer to any customer that checks in three times in a given week or writes a positive review. Foursquare makes offering these types of so-called “Foursquare specials” easy by providing free tools to allow businesses automatically fulfill or unlock the Foursquare special (e.g. Foursquare says you have been here 3 times this week! That’s a free appetizer!; Foursquare users get 20% off their order every 10th check in!).
Points: Foursquare operates almost like a game as well, in users gain points for checking in, adding a new venue, repeat visits, etc. The points are assessed by venue, as well as a whole. Businesses can encourage customers to check in by providing value for the number of points accrue, such as offering to donate a nickel per point to a charity or allowing users to earn discounts in relation to the number of points they have.
Mayors: the user that has the most points for a specific venue is designated as the “mayor” of that venue. Such, many businesses will choose to offer something of a larger value to the member who becomes the mayor of their venue, such as a gift certificate or a complimentary bottle of wine. Many Foursquare users are very competitive over the “mayor” status and this “battle” can translate into increased exposure, and accordingly profits, for a business.
To do lists: next, consider creating a “to-do” list for Foursquare users. A Foursquare to-do list operates very much like a contest or scavenger hunt. You would create a to-do list based on aspects of your business you would like to promote, such as your new line of cocktails or a new fitness class.When a user completes the to-do list, you could award him much the way you would award the “mayor” – by providing a complimentary item or service.
Everyone’s a winner: lastly, consider making everyone a winner by offering a free upgrade to anyone who checks in (and shows they did to the cashier) or by offering 10% off to everyone in the store when the analytics show that 100 people have checked in at your venue.
Without a doubt, participating in sites like FourSquare can be a key part of growing your business presence in the eyes of internet dependent local consumers.
An online marketing strategy includes being findable in multiple places when local consumers are looking for your product or service. A Local Internet Marketing Consultant can help you strategize and implement your online marketing plan, including opportunities like FourSquare.